Historic Preservation (MS)

James Buckley, Program Director
70 NW Couch Street, Floor 4R
Portland, Oregon 97209

The University of Oregon's Historic Preservation Program is best described as having broad cultural concerns with a technical emphasis. Attention is given to historic places, buildings, and landscapes in terms of their specific forms, materials, construction, and use. The cultural and theoretical context in which they were developed is addressed, as is the impact of time upon their materials, meanings, and needs. The technologies, interpretations, and means for sustaining the presence of historic places in the future are also emphasized.

The program offers a master of science (MS) degree in historic preservation. Although no particular training is preferred, students whose backgrounds are primarily in historic preservation, architecture, landscape architecture, and architectural history are most prepared for this program. Coursework includes training in the social sciences, preservation theory and law, the characteristics of historic buildings and landscapes, historic building technology, and the procedures for evaluating and recording historic sites and buildings.

The program is administered by the Historic Preservation Committee, an interdepartmental committee in the School of Architecture and Environment.

Historic Preservation Major

The MS degree in historic preservation requires 73 credits in five areas: historic preservation core courses, architectural history core courses, focal area courses, approved electives, and individualized study courses, which include thesis or terminal project, research, and an internship. Students choose one of three focal areas in which to specialize - sustainable preservation theory, design, and technology; cultural resource management; or resource identification and evaluation.

Historic Preservation Core 1
AAAP 508Workshop: [Topic] (Pacific Northwest Field School)2
AAAP 511Introduction to Historic Preservation3
AAAP 531National Register Nomination3
AAAP 541Legal Issues in Historic Preservation3
AAAP 551Historic Survey and Inventory Methodology3
AAAP 610Experimental Course: [Topic] (Thesis Proposal)3
Architectural History Core 1
Select two of the following: 8
American Architecture from a Preservation Perspective I
American Architecture from a Preservation Perspective II
American Architecture from a Preservation Perspective III
Select one additional course (from the approved list) about the history of architecture, landscape architecture, interior architecture, or the history of building construction4
Focal Area
Courses (see Focal Areas section below)18
Courses in other focal areas, from approved list of courses, or in other departments with advisor approval9
Individualized Study 2
AAAP 601Research: [Topic]2
AAAP 609Terminal Project2
AAAP 607Seminar: [Topic]1
AAAP 503Thesis 312
or AAAP 611 Terminal Project
Total Credits73

Focal Areas

The three focal areas described in this section reflect the particular interest areas and professional careers that are traditionally sought by program graduates. To focus their studies, students select courses from one of the three areas. Those who want to pursue a broader range of interests may select courses from more than one of the focal areas and develop an approved alternative focal area. It is the student’s responsibility to construct such an alternative focal area and present it to the program director for approval no later than the second quarter of the first year of study. A full list of courses for each focal area are available on the program website: archenvironment.uoregon.edu/hp/graduate.

  • Sustainable Preservation Theory, Design, and Technology. Focusing on the practice of preservation, emphasis is placed on the skills needed to research, plan, and direct the restoration and adaptive reuse of buildings, places, and landscapes as well as to determine the appropriate levels of treatment. 
  • Cultural Resource Management. Embodied in historic preservation is the management of cultural resources. This focal area provides the legal, planning, and management skills needed for individuals to work within organizations that support efforts to manage cultural resources in both the public and private sectors.
  • Resource Identification and Evaluation. This focal area reveals the insights and investigative tools for archival and cultural resource research to establish the history and context of buildings, interior spaces, and landscapes that determined settlement, organization, and a sense of place.